Incumbent government leading in vote count
The coalition led by Sher Bahadur Deuba and his pro-India Nepali Congress is close to victory. Turnout drops significantly.
Kathmandu (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Vote counting is still underway in Nepal following last Sunday’s election.
Early results seem to be favourable to the incumbent ruling coalition government led by 76-year-old Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, head of the Nepali Congress, which is politically close to India.
The House of Representatives has 275 seats, 165 single-member constituencies whose members are elected by first-past-the-post.
So far the Nepali Congress has won 25 seats and is leading in another 31 in single constituencies.
Among its allies, the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Centre (CPN-MC) won seven seats, the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Socialist (CPN-US) took another six while two other smaller parties each one seat. Overall, these parties are leading in 15 other constituencies.
The main opposition party, the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML), led by former Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, won 15 seats, and is leading in another 29. But its allies for now have only three seats.
By contrast, Sharma Oli's party is leading in the remaining 110 seats assigned in a single nationwide constituency via proportional representation. However, for some observers, this may not be enough to reach a majority.
The main opposition force suffered a setback in the capital Kathmandu, where it won only one seat against the six in the last elections in 2017.
Out of the district's 10 seats, the Nepali Congress took five seats while a new party, the Rastriya Swotantra Party, won four.
In last May’s local elections, voters in the capital gave a strong signal that they were dissatisfied with the traditional parties when they elected Balendra Shah, a 32-year-old rapper who ran as an independent, as the city’s new mayor.
Last week’s general election also saw a significant drop in turnout, 61 per cent compared to 77 per cent in 2013 and 78 per cent in 2017.